‘Aqeeqah is a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah) according to the correct view. This has been explained in the answer to question no. 20018. The one who is addressed here is the father; it is not required of the mother or the children.
The duty to offer ‘aqeeqah is not waived when the child reaches puberty. If the father is able then it is mustahabb for him to offer ‘aqeeqah on behalf of his children for whom he did not yet offer ‘aqeeqah.
If the father did not offer ‘aqeeqah for his child, is it prescribed for the child or anyone else to offer ‘aqeeqah on his behalf? The fuqaha’ differed concerning that, but the correct view is that this is prescribed and is mustahabb.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (9/364): If ‘aqeeqah was not offered at all and the child reaches puberty and earns a living, then he does not have to offer ‘aqeeqah. Ahmad was asked about this matter and he said: That applies to the father, i.e., he should not offer ‘aqeeqah for himself; the Sunnah has to do with someone else (namely the father).
‘Ata’ and al-Hasan said: he may offer ‘aqeeqah for himself, because it is prescribed for him and because he is held in pledge for it, so it should be prescribed for him to release himself.
And we think that it is prescribed for the father and no one else should do it. End quote.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Tuhfat al-Mawdood fi Ahkaam al-Mawlood: Chapter nineteen: The ruling on one whose parents did not do ‘aqeeqah for him; should he offer ‘aqeeqah for himself when he reaches puberty? Al-Khallaal said: Chapter on what is recommended for one for whom ‘aqeeqah was not done when he was small and he may offer ‘aqeeqah for himself when he is an adult. Then he quoted some of the discussion of Ismaa’eel narrated from Sa’eed al-Shaalinji who said: I asked Ahmad about a man whose father told him that he had not offered ‘aqeeqah for him, could he offer ‘aqeeqah for himself? He said: That is the duty of the father.
Al-Maymooni said: I said to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah: If ‘aqeeqah was not done for a person, could it be done for him when he is an adult? He mentioned something that was narrated concerning (‘aqeeqah for) an adult, but he classed it as da’eef (weak). But he regarded it as something good, if ‘aqeeqah was not done for him when he was small, for it to be done for him when he is an adult. He said: If a person does that, I would not disapprove of it. He said: ‘Abd al-Malik told me elsewhere that he said to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah: Should ‘aqeeqah be offered for him when he is an adult? He said: I did not hear anything about an adult. I said: His father was poor then he became well off and he does not want to leave his son without offering ‘aqeeqah for him. He said: I do not know and I did not hear anything with regard to an adult. Then he said to me: But if someone who does it, that is good, and there are some people who regard it as obligatory. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after quoting these words:
The first view is more correct, which is that it is mustahabb to offer ‘aqeeqah on behalf of oneself, because ‘aqeeqah is a confirmed Sunnah but the father omitted to do it, so it is prescribed for him to do it if he is able. That is because of the general meaning of the ahaadeeth, such as the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Every child is in pledge for his ‘aqeeqah which should be sacrificed for him on the seventh day, and his head should be shaved and he should be given a name.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad and the authors of al-Sunan from Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allaah be pleased with him) with a saheeh isnaad. And Umm Karaz al-Ka’biyyah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined that ‘aqeeqah be done for a boy with two sheep and for a female with one sheep, as was narrated by the five. Al-Tirmidhi narrated and classed as saheeh a similar report from ‘Aa’ishah. This is not addressed only to the father; rather it also includes the child, the mother and other relatives of the newborn. End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (26/266).
Based on this, it may be said to the sister who is asking this question: You may offer ‘aqeeqah on behalf of yourself, or on behalf of your children if their father did not offer ‘aqeeqah on their behalf.
Udhiyah is a confirmed Sunnah and is prescribed for both men and women. One udhiyah is sufficient on behalf of a man and the members of his household, or on behalf of a woman and the members of her household.
This woman may offer a sacrifice, whether her husband also offers a sacrifice or not.
If she offers a sacrifice, that will suffice for her ‘aqeeqah too.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Chapter eighteen on the ruling on combining ‘aqeeqah and udhiyah.
Al-Khallaal said: Chapter on what was narrated about the udhiyah sufficing for the ‘aqeeqah too.
‘Abd al-Malik al-Maymooni told us that he said to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah (i.e., Imam Ahmad): Is it permissible to offer the udhiyah on behalf of a child instead of the ‘aqeeqah? He said: I do not know. Then he said: More than one said that. I said: From among the Taabi’een? He said: Yes.
And ‘Abd al-Malik told me elsewhere that Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said that some of them said that if he offers an udhiyah that will suffice for the ‘aqeeqah too.
‘Usmah ibn ‘Isaam told us: Hambal narrated to us that Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said: I hope that the udhiyah will suffice for the ‘aqeeqah too, in sha Allaah, for the one who did not offer ‘aqeeqah.
‘Usmah ibn ‘Isaam told us elsewhere: Hanbal told us that Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said: If a sacrifice (udhiyah) is offered on his behalf, the udhiyah will suffice for the ‘aqeeqah. He said: And I saw Abu ‘Abd-Allaah buying an udhiyah that he sacrificed on behalf of himself and his family, and his son ‘Abd-Allaah was small when he sacrificed it. I think he intended thereby to do the ‘aqeeqah and the udhiyah, and he shared out the meat and ate some of it. End quote from Tuhfat al-Mawdood.
And Allaah knows best.